Court of Protection
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Chambers' Court of Protection team at the forefront of the developing jurisdiction of the Court of Protection, due in part to its historic strength in public and mental health law. Members are frequently instructed on behalf of claimants, relatives, statutory agencies, private bodies and the Official Solicitor in cases concerning welfare, financial and serious medical treatment decisions, and the deprivation of liberty safeguards. Chambers UK notes that Thirty Nine Essex Street is "widely regarded as having the biggest and best health and welfare team in London or anywhere else".
The members of the team are:
Lisa Giovanetti QC
Lisa has a broad public law practice, undertaking advisory work and advocacy before a wide range of courts and tribunals, including the Supreme Court and European Court of Human Rights. She has appeared before the Court of Protection and High Court in a number of cases involving mental capacity/best interests, notably Re: HM  EWHC 1579 (Fam),  Fam Law 1072,  1 FLR 97, in which she was instructed by the Official Solicitor on behalf of P.
Jenni Richards QC
Jenni specialises in public and administrative law, regulatory and disciplinary law and mental incapacity cases. She is regularly instructed by the Official Solicitor, local authorities, NHS Trusts and individuals in more complex Court of Protection cases, in particular those raising difficult issues as to capacity, medical treatment, interference with human rights and deprivation of liberty. Recent cases include Cheshire West and Chester Council v P  EWCA Civ 1257 (leading Court of Appeal authority on deprivation of liberty) and A Local Authority v H  EWHC 49 COP (test for capacity to consent to sexual relations).
Fenella Morris QC
Fenella appears regularly in the Court of Protection instructed by the Official Solicitor, local authorities, NHS bodies and individuals in cases involving medical treatment, welfare, property and affairs and deprivation of liberty. She has appeared in a number of leading cases in this area, including JE v DE, R v C, and P and Q. She is a co-author of The Mental Capacity Act 2005, A Guide to the New Law 2nd Edition (Law Society). Fenella’s practice also includes public, human rights and regulatory law, and she is experienced in mediating health and social care disputes.
Simon has wide experience of private client work. He recently acted for Anthony Day in the Chancery division dispute that he had with the children of the late Sir Malcolm Arnold over the ownership of Sir Malcolm’s manuscripts. The dispute centred on the question whether Sir Malcolm had given the manuscripts to his children when in a desperate state or later when he was a patient of the Court of Protection. Questions also arose as to the meaning of Sir Malcolm’s will and a later written gift. He successfully obtained a revocation of a grant in Lamothe v Lamothe  WTLR 1431 and opposed a daughter’s claim to ownership of a flat in Lalani v Crump  8 EG 136 (CS). His membership of the team provides an added dimension of experience in all aspects of property and contractual issues.
Parishil advises upon and appears in best interests cases on a very regular basis, instructed by individuals (including on behalf of the Official Solicitor), NHS bodies and local authorities.
Vikram Sachdeva of Thirty Nine Essex Street Chambers is qualified both in medicine and in law, and previously practiced as a hospital doctor. He also taught public law at Cambridge University for several years. Vikram practices in a wide range of public law and human rights cases, as well as in medical treatment cases in the Court of Protection. He is recommended as a leading junior in Administrative and Public Law in the Legal 500 2011, and for Court of Protection work in Chambers UK 2012.
Nicola appears regularly in the Court of Protection instructed by the Official Solicitor, local authorities, NHS bodies and individuals in cases involving health, welfare, property and affairs and deprivation of liberty. She is a co-author of The Mental Capacity Act 2005, A Guide to the New Law 2nd Edition (Law Society). She also practises in the areas of personal injury and clinical negligence and often undertakes work involving capacity issues. Recent cases including XCC v AA  EWHC 2183 (COP) (forced marriage and declaration of non-recognition) and A Local Authority v H  EWHC 49 COP (test for capacity to consent to sexual relations).
Jonathan has an extensive practice in mental capacity and frequently appears in the Court of Protection, for local authorities, families and the Official Solicitor. He appeared in J v Foundation Trust and others  Fam 70 (case determining the relationship between the Mental Capacity Act 2005 and the Mental Health Act 1983); A PCT v R (week-long mental capacity trial concerning complex issues of capacity and mental health), SMBC and WMP v RG and GG (capacity to marry and enter into sexual relations). He is rated by the legal directories in the top band of barristers for community care law. He recently co-authored the book Judicial Review: Principles and Procedure (OUP, 2013).
Katie has a busy Court of Protection and best interests practice. She has represented local authorities, the Official Solicitor and family members in disputes concerning health, welfare, property and affairs and marriage. She has been involved in a number of interesting cases, most notably PH v A Local Authority, Z Ltd and R  EWCH 1704 (Fam) - a case in which the Court gave guidance on the principles to be applied when addressing the issue of capacity under the Mental Capacity Act. C v A Local Authority, LMP, LM, A PCT and An organisation  EWHC 1539 (Admin) - a case in which the Court considered the application of the Code of Practice to the Mental Health Act 1983 to the seclusion of incapacitated teenagers in schools. LLBC v TG, JG and KR  EWHC 2640 (Fam) - a residence dispute which raised issues about deprivation of liberty in an ordinary care home. R (on the application of W) v Croydon LBC  EWHC 696 (Admin) - a case in which the court considered the lawfulness of a decision regarding the placement of the applicant was taken after a flawed consultation in circumstances where the local authority were entitled to terminate the applicant’s placement on the basis of cost.
Neil has particular interests in human rights, mental health and incapacity law and mainly practises in the Court of Protection. Also a lecturer at Manchester University, he teaches students in these fields, trains health, social care and legal professionals, and regularly publishes in academic books and journals. Neil is the Deputy Director of the University's Legal Advice Centre and a Trustee for legal and mental health charities.
Alex Ruck Keene
Alex has extensive experience across all aspects of the Court of Protection's work. He appears on behalf of individuals and public bodies in health and welfare applications under the MCA 2005. He is a member of the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners and regularly advises upon and acts in matters relating to P's property and affairs. He also has unrivalled expertise in the international protection of incapacitated adults under Schedule 3 to the Act. His publications include contributions to Court of Protection Practice 2012 (Jordans 2012) and Assessment of Mental Capacity (Law Society/BMA 2009).
Anna regularly appears in the Court of Protection in cases concerning welfare issues and property and financial affairs. She acts on behalf of local authorities, family members and the OS. Anna also provides training in COP related matters. Anna also practices in the fields of education and employment where she has particular expertise in discrimination/human rights issues.
Victoria Butler Cole
Victoria specialises in public law. She has a particular interest in mental health and previously worked in the field of medical ethics. She frequently appears in the Court of Protection on behalf of families, local authorities, NHS bodies and the Official Solicitor, in cases concerning welfare issues, property and financial affairs, and medical treatment. She was recommended for Court of Protection work in Chambers and Partners 2014, where she was described as a ‘star performer’ and a ‘very persuasive advocate’.
Alexis regularly represents local authorities, the Official Solicitor and family members in court of protection matters. Court of protection work dovetails with the balance of Alexis’ practice which includes public law, healthcare regulation and clinical negligence.
Peter has a busy Court of Protection practice, acting on behalf of the Official Solicitor, individuals and local authorities. His practice also covers the related fields of mental health, community care and human rights.
Michelle has a busy practice in the Court of Protection and is regularly instructed by local authorities, health bodies and the Official Solicitor. She has acted in a number of complex capacity disputes and has experience in all areas of the Court of Protection's work, from cases about health and welfare to serious medical treatment and property and affairs. She has particular expertise in forced marriage, capacity to consent to sexual relations and disputes over residence, care and contact. Her work in the financial sphere includes the appointment of deputies for property and affairs and advising on powers of attorney. Michelle has also acted in cases concerning advance decisions to refuse medical treatment and disputes over whether steps should be taken to prolong life. She is recommended Chambers and Partners 2013 as "responsive and approachable" and a "formidable presence" in the Court of Protection.
Catherine has a particular interest in public law and human rights. She regularly appears in the Court of Protection, instructed by individuals and local authorities in welfare and financial cases. She is also a Bye-Fellow at St Edmund’s College, Cambridge University where she teaches constitutional law and civil liberties.